Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE

Review:

Nerve has just been turned into a movie, and I have to admit that that is why I chose to pick up this book.  The synopsis intrigued me, and I liked how it seemed to be a modern Hunger Games.  However, I was finding it hard to find the original novel that wasn’t a movie tie-in, and I found that that was because, apparently, it wasn’t up to par.  That being said, I found the movie tie-in version to be quite good, and even though I haven’t seen the movie yet and can’t compare it to the book, Nerve made for an interesting read.

One of the best things about this novel was that the main character, Vee, was essentially a person who was always in the background and wanted a chance to be noticed.  I liked how Jeanne Ryan didn’t make Vee sound as though she was a gorgeous, unapproachable character, but instead made her awkward and someone who didn’t just survive off of her looks and pass them off as a personality.

The premise of this novel is that the online game, NERVE, is a big hit, and if you do a dare successfully you are able to win prizes.  However, once you begin the game NERVE takes over your phone, and won’t let any calls or messages come through.  They then have access to your personal life and your online profiles, and base your dares off of your fears and your own experiences, while also bribing those who know you with prizes so that they can give NERVE more information on you.

I loved the premise of this book, and how it represented how the internet and our technology is taking over our lives, but I didn’t give this book a full rating because I was not happy with the ending.  While the rest of the novel was brilliant and an insane page turner, the ending came off as a bit cheesy and rushed, as though the author was tired of writing it and wanted it to end.  The last few chapters of the book also went pretty slow, and I felt that the ending was drug out, and then clipped.  Ryan planned the rest of this novel out well, but I don’t think that she thought through to the ending.

However, Nerve was an ice read, and I think that young adults will love it.  It connects to today’s teens, and society in general, and made me rethink how attached we all are to technology.  Even though it doesn’t run our lives quite like those who created NERVE, we are giving it the choice to take over.

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